Skinhead Away Paperback – 1 Jul 2012
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Top customer reviews
I'm not sure how many words this short story is - it's about 100 kindle pages but it never feels rushed and the author paces it well, to ensure that even a first-time reader is fully immersed in the culture and 1980s feel of the piece.
It's like looking in a microscope at a skinhead world which is dirty, dangerous, even alien and yet at the same time, passionate and full of loyalty.
Set in 1982, the story follows Trog and his tasty new girlfriend on a weekend trip to a music festival. Both characters are well-cast in the story and the reader is left wanting to more about what happens to them. I wondered where Mandy would be now? I don't think she'd be with Trog but you never know.
Anyway, the weekend is a busy one, with fights, intense love-making and a soaking on the beach. Also, most characters seem to be eating chips.
There are strong echoes of Quadrophenia in this tale, a 1979 classic looking back at the gang violence of the 1960s.
Beneath it all this is a well-written kitchen sink drama story, filled with gang culture, love, anger and alienation. The need to belong seeps from the pages.
As a first time reader in this genre, I enjoyed it immensely. The story was well-written, superbly edited and offers you a glimpse into the past and world I certainly wasn't aware of.
Two young lovers and their friends head North, to a Ska festival at the seaside resort of Cleethorpes. They find a good time, but they also find violence at the hands of gang of vicious bikers and social contempt from the long arm of the law.
If you're a fan of Ska of Mod music, even if you're a child of that generation you'll enjoy this little nugget of socio-realism. Blakeston writes as if he was there, and I suspect that the entire weekend was set around an event in the author's life; he writes it gritty but with love.
If you're a fan of Irvine Welsh's social commentary via the eyes of the lower echelons of society, you couldn't go far wrong here. If you enjoyed THIS IS ENGLAND, the story here will strike a chord with what you enjoyed there.
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